In 25 words or less describe who you are, where you’re located and what you make.
My name is Issa Dixon and I make essential oil fragrances for my company Hollow and Ridge. We blend and distill artisan grade oils and plant material from our workshop in Narberth, PA.
What made you want to be a maker?
Growing up in a self-sustainable community in rural West Virginia taught me the art of “making” at an early age. I had a plethora of talented makers around me. Everything from master herbalists, wood workers, artists, midwives, weavers, naturalists, sliver smiths, we even knew a fella that could build car engines out of melted down beer cans. Not having modern amenities within reach made perfecting ones craft a necessity. Barter and trade within our small community was a way of life. My family used native plants and herbs to treat pretty much all our ailments. Peppermint and Eucalyptus for coughs, colds, and nausea. Lavender for insomnia, fungal infections and burns. Rosemary for arthritis, muscle pain and fluid retention. Our house always had large bunches of freshly dried herbs that eventually ended up as some sort of salve or tincture. My parents believed teaching us kids the importance of sustainability and living off the land was as important as what we leaned in school. My father taught me how to be patient with nature. My mom gave me a green thumb and the basic Aromatherapy building blocks. My love for the art of distillation came from years of watching tabletop plant distillation. Stumbling onto a few backwoods chemistry masters in my youth didn’t hurt either.
Why should people support your business/products?
By supporting Hollow and Ridge, you not only support our beautifully crafted oil fragrances, but you’re also helping the small self-sustainable farms we support and partner with.
Favorite product that you make?
My personal favorite is blend 505 (balance). This blend took the longest to get right. Balancing the right amount of similar therapeutic aromatherapy properties along with a balanced scent was important. Having a blend people could wear all year long was another goal for balance blend 505. I also love this blend because it really is a great fragrance on both men and women.
List five of your favorite tools.
1. Leather Aromatherapy notebook - My Hollow and Ridge notebook is my favorite tool. This is where I write down all my trial blends, batch notes, and directions to my favorite rural gardens and farms. There isn’t a day that goes by I don’t have to reference my notes in this little book.
2. 1972 U-Haul Camper (aka “the egg”) - this is my home away from home. Over the past few years I’ve spent weeks living in this camper while going to Aromatherapy and Healing Practices classes in North Carolina. We frequently pack up the camper with plants and oils.
3. Copper Still - My still was hand crafted in Portugal. A real piece of art. The process of distillation is so rewarding. My still is the muscle behind Hollow and Ridge.
4. Double barrel white porcelain sink - this sink is like a hundred years old. It’s very deep and perfectly fits the plant material basket that I fill and then drop into the still for distillation. Makes for easy, happy clean up. They just don’t make sinks like this anymore.
5. Extra large glass beakers - I love my 2 gallon hydrosol glass beakers. The larger thicker glass beakers are pricey and hard to find. I inherited 2 of these beauties. I am bit of a beaker snob.
(photographs from Dixon Photography)
Make : Seedbombs
Film : Locals Supply